Samsung SGH-F700 Preview


Mobile phones’ multimedia capabilities have become of paramount importance for the consumers’ choice, which has prompted manufacturers to make more and more improvements in this respect. Obviously, SGH-F700 is not an exception to this rule and its Korean manufacturer has made an effort to offer good technical capabilities and a wonderful interface and ways of handling the phone.

Although the phone is not a high-end cameraphone like, for example, G800, it still has a 3-megapixel camera with autofocus and a LED flash. To the left of the display is a column with all the icons showing the current settings that you’re using to take pictures (resolution, white balance, ISO, etc), while to the right are the navigation and settings buttons. The latter button can be hid if you wish so - a function, indicated by the small arrow. All options and menus in camera mode are shown in semi-transparent buttons, only the text being in solid color, to make it more legible.

Another interesting feature is that in the Viewfinder mode menu you have the following settings options: normal, wide with icons and with no icons, which, apart from changing the interface, also impacts the possible resolutions when taking pictures. In normal mode you can choose from a total of six sizes, and in wide mode there are four sizes to choose from (up to 2016x1120), which is actually a wide-screen picture with the non-standard ratio of 18:10. In this mode, the maximum resolution that can be obtained is 2.2 megapixels instead of the standard 3.

In camera mode you can choose from two resolutions (QVGA 320 x 240 and 176 x 144 pixels), which is a bit disappointing, since the VGA resolution is increasingly becoming the standard for making video clips with the high-end phones. Anyway, with the higher resolution they are good enough to be watched on the phone’s display and with the lower resolution they can only be used for multimedia messages.


The music player is another module that has been copied from the U700 and just optimized for the touch-sensitive display navigation. It sorts the multimedia files by: Last played / All / Recently played / Most played / Artists / Genres / Albums / Composers / Playlists, similar to other music players of modern phones, like the Walkman of Sony Ericsson for example. We would have liked to see sorting by rating, but it is missing. The user can create playlists, add music from the memory to it and reorder the added tracks.

The "Now playing" interface has nothing in common with non-touch Samsung phones. In order to resemble the Croix (Cross) idea, the interface has the two lines (vertical and horizontal) which cross, occupying the whole screen. The position of the horizontal towards the vertical indicates the volume level while the opposite indicates the time progress.
Rewinding and controlling of the volume is achieved by moving those lines across the screen and the play/pause is where they cross – in the “Croix point”.

Other options are hidden in menus that are opened by the small "arrow" buttons in the upper left and bottom right corners.

The player can be minimized and then it works in the background. The music keeps on playing but you can use the phone’s functionality, type a message, use the camera or browse the internet for example. In this mode, the homescreen will visualize the now playing song information at the place where calendar/clock is normally shown.

For personal listening to music, headphones should be used. As 3.5mm jack is present at the top, this won’t be a problem as any standard ‘phones can be attached without any adapter. If you don’t like the wires, the stereo Bluetooth (using the A2DP profile) will come of help, allowing connecting compatible headphones, speakers or audio system.

As in other Samsung phones, stand-alone Video player is missing from the main menu. However, such files can be played when you choose them from the file manager. Standard MPEG4 file encoded with H.263 and with QVGA resolution played smoothly and without any problem. Although standard H.264 clip doesn’t play with image but only sound, H.264 baseline encoded clips (again in QVGA resolution) are not a problem.

Expect our full review when final, commercial samples are released.

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